Thursday, February 5, 2009



Okay, it sounded better when William Wallace said it on Braveheart, riding without a saddle on a horse galloping on the moors rather than standing on a toilet, hoping that the store clerk wouldn't check too closely when locking up. Then again William Wallace never wore red boxers over blue leotards in a uber cool super hero type costume.

No one would ever confuse Lennie Bruce with William Wallace and no one would ever confuse William Wallace with Lennie Bruce.

Lennie Bruce, like William Wallace, was ready and prepared to strike a blow for freedom. Freedom from the Evil Empire that chained computers and their users world wide. Freedom from having to rush out and purchase a new Operating System every time Microsoft came out with a newer version of Windows. Freedom from having to buy a new computer, or hardware upgrade, because what had worked so well in the past would not work so well under the new regime. Freedom from viruses and worms and stuff like that. Lennie Bruce only hoped that the story would end differently for him than it did for William Wallace. His threshold for pain was rather nonexistant.

Finally the lights went out. Lennie Bruce waited for what seemed a lifetime, but was probably only a few minutes, before he grew brave enough to scuttle out of his stall. Pressing the button on his lady bug light, he eased the door open and took a cautious peek out. Nothing, everything was dark, except little red lights, all in a row. Good that meant that the owner of the Internet Cafe left his computers on. Lennie smiled. That would make it so much easier. He slipped out of his shoes and into the cafe proper.

The first row was the hardest. It was the one closest to the windows, and while there was no direct lighting, there was always the chance that some nosy passerby would spot his lady bug light. Fortumately it didn't cast all that much lighrt, and if he was real careful, only to use it when necessary, he should be okay.

He reached the first computer, located the cherry red light of the powerbar it was connected to. He turned his ladybug light on. located, and opened the dvd drawer. Moving stealthily but with quiet resolve, he removed a cd from his pack, placed it into the dvd drawer and slid it silently back into the machine.

Then with trembling hands, he reached out a finger. And paused. This was it. The point of no return. The first strike. A moment to remember. A moment to savour, and Lennie wanted to enjoy every second of it.

But not too long. Every moment the cause was delayed was a moment in which he could be discovered. Something that couldn't be allowed. No Judge would appreciate the rightness of his cause or the crime that was perpetuated on innocent computers and their users. With a sigh and a smile, Lennie Bruce switched off the power bar. There was a sudden stillnes as the computer fan slowed to a stop. Lennie imagined it as the final gasp of Windows as it lay dying and brtoken at tjhe feet of computer users everywhere. He counted to ten, then switched the power bar back on. Using the ladybug light, he located the power on button, for the computer and pressed it. Lennie listened to the healthy beep and whirr of the computer coming back to life and imagined the look coming over Bill Gates face if he only knew that a computer was being set free from his hegemony.

The computer would boot from the cd Lennie had placed into the computer. It would load Ecopup into memory.

Ecopup was a derivative of Puuppy Linux, put together by a bloke accross the pond, who wanted to run an internet cafe with it. Ecopup had everything the average user of an Internet Cafe computer would need. A browser, a word processor, instant messenger, skype, even games, and you didn't have to pay anything for it, except, maybe, for the cost of the cd. Ecopup itself was free.

Including the modifications he had made.

The script that would reformat the computers hard drive. Windows had to be erased, not erased, excorsized. The Microsoft demon cast out to to the bottom most, and well deserved, pits of hell.

Lennie shed a tear of sympathy for the innocent data that would be expunged as well. But he took solace in the fact that in any war there were always innocent victims, collateral damage.

The script that would install a copy of Ecopup to the hard drive.

The script that would automatically configure the computer to use the Internet.

Lennie Bruce moved from computer to computer, repeating the process until finally all thirty had installed Ecopup or was in the process of installing it. He moved back to the first computer. It was giving him the swift beep-beeps that told him that Ecopup was installed and the CD was ready to be the out. He did so, and rebooted the computer.

The owner would come in to find a better working computer. Ecopup used less of the computer's resources than did Microsoft, so it would be faster, more responsive, cleaner. Ecopup's default wallpaper was XP's, espexcially chosen so the users would feel at home. The icons were especially crafted to look like XP icons. Lennie prayed to the data gods that the owner liked what he, Lennie Bruce, had done, and would not re-enslave these computers and the poor souls that used them.

Two and a half hours and thirty computers had been liberated from the Microsoft yoke of enslavement. Thirty computers, a tiny but significant weakening of the evil empire. Lennie smiled as he placed a stack of cds on the cashier's counter, beside the till, and prepared to leave.

As the store's alarm began to whoop, he lifted an arm and gave an exubrient shout...


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